Public health measures to ease with WA’s soft landing secured
Premier; Treasurer; Minister for Public Sector Management; Federal-State Relations
Minister for Health; Mental Health
Public health measures to ease with WA’s soft landing secured
- From 12.01am Friday, April 29, public health and social measures to ease
- Masks encouraged but no longer mandatory except in specific settings
- Two square metre rule and proof of vaccination requirements removed for venues
- Asymptomatic close contacts will no longer need to isolate, subject to strict protocols
- Changes for domestic and international arrivals into WA
- Remaining school and early childhood measures removed, with more RATs provided
- Mandatory workplace vaccination requirements to remain
Western Australia has secured its soft landing through the Omicron wave, making way for Level 1 public health measures across the State to ease from 12.01am Friday, April 29, as WA approaches a triple dose vaccination rate of 80 per cent.
Based on the latest health advice, WA reached its peak four weeks ago with case numbers, and hospitalisation and ICU admission rates stable and lower than anticipated, allowing public health measures to safely ease.
Masks will no longer be mandatory, except for those aged 12 and older (including Year 7s) in high-risk settings including hospitals, residential aged care, disability services facilities and correctional facilities, and also at the airport, on public transport, in rideshare and taxi services, and other passenger transport. Masks are encouraged where physical distancing isn't possible.
Asymptomatic close contacts will no longer have to isolate for seven days, provided they:
- undertake daily Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT);
- wear a mask outside the home;
- avoid high-risk settings, including hospitals, healthcare settings, disability and aged care facilities, and correctional facilities;
- work from home, where possible;
- avoid non-essential gatherings and contact with people at risk of severe illness; and
- should notify their employer/educational facility of their close contact status.
The State Government's free RAT program will be further expanded to provide more RATs to Western Australians who require them to follow the new close contact protocols.
Symptomatic close contacts must isolate until symptoms resolve and get tested as per existing protocols. If a close contact tests positive, they must isolate for a further seven days as per arrangements for positive COVID-19 cases.
The two square metre rule and capacity limits will be removed from all venues throughout the State, with proof of vaccination requirements only required in hospitals and residential aged care facilities.
Mandatory workplace vaccination requirements will remain in place.
The G2G Pass requirement for arrivals into WA will be removed altogether.
Vaccination requirements for interstate travellers will be removed from April 29.
The double dose vaccination requirement for international arrivals will continue as per Federal Government requirements.
WA's requirement for unvaccinated Australian international arrivals to quarantine for seven days will continue, with a review in four weeks.
Travel to remote Aboriginal communities remains restricted.
The remaining public health measures for schools and early childcare will be removed in line with the new baseline measures. Some preventative measures will be retained in schools including enhanced ventilation, mandatory vaccination and cleaning.
To help identify cases within schools and childcare, the State Government will provide 12 million free RATs for all schools and childcare facilities to distribute to parents and carers. Parents and students will be encouraged to collect tests, to ensure they are ready if symptoms develop.
Hospital visitation arrangements continue to be in place to protect our most vulnerable citizens. Masks and proof of vaccination requirements remain, and non-essential visitors will be limited to two people per patient per day during visitor hours. Essential visits for compassionate reasons, birth partners and carers, parents or guardians will also continue.
COVID Safety Plans, COVID Event Checklist and COVID Event Plan will no longer be mandatory, but are encouraged. For more information, visit https://www.wa.gov.au
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"Since the beginning of the pandemic, Western Australians have banded together, done the right thing and made sacrifices for each other.
"Because of those efforts, WA has secured its soft landing.
"We have avoided mass loss of life, avoided long debilitating lockdowns and avoided economic devastation.
"With our world-leading vaccination rates and a stable level of community spread of the virus, the latest health advice is that we can safely ease our public health measures.
"This means Western Australians can resume life as normal in a COVID-19 world much sooner than anywhere else in the country from the onset of community transmission.
"The removal of these measures does not mean the pandemic is over, but it does mean Western Australians can decide what measures they may like to take to keep themselves safe from the virus.
"If you haven't already, please make sure you get your third vaccination dose - it's your best defence.
"To all Western Australians who have done the right thing and I know will continue to do the right thing - thank you for your efforts."
Comments attributed to Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson:
"I'd like to thank each and every Western Australian for doing their bit since the start of the pandemic, to keep others safe.
"Your co-operation and willingness to do what was needed ensured our soft landing and protected those most vulnerable in our community.
"Our lower than predicted hospitalisations and ICU admissions for the Omicron wave are an extraordinary achievement that we can all be proud of.
"They are thanks to our very high vaccination rates, well-timed and targeted public health and social measures, and the dedication of our healthcare workers.
"The health advice is now that we can safely ease our Level 1 measures on April 29, but I would encourage all Western Australians to continue to get vaccinated, including a third dose when due."